Sunday, September 10, 2006

How Was Your Weekend?

Mine was pretty good, thanks.

I only had one evening of freelance work. That was Saturday night. There was something brewing for Friday night, but it never materialized. Actually, it did. On Friday afternoon. After I had called to find out what the deal was on Wednesday, and then again on Thursday, telling them that I had to know to arrange a sitter for my kids. Thursday afternoon I was told the Friday gig wasn't happening.

Friday afternoon it was back on, and could I please work that night?

Sorry. I had plans with my kids.

Except for the Saturday evening gig, I spent the whole weekend with them. We went out to dinner Friday night. I'll say this about my kids, they aren't picky eaters. They love to explore a new restaurant as much as they love to explore a new forest. We went here:
It's a little Japanese restaurant just around the corner from us. Unlike most of the Japanese restaurants in the area, it doesn't try to be a 'traditional' Japanese restaurant. Its the restaurant that most of the Japanese population of our town go to when they want to eat Japanese food.

Our appetizers were cheese tempura and sushi; My daughter had chicken teryaki, i had beef negimaki, and my son had a bowl of ramen with a piece of unagi, with bottles of ramune all around.

My kids love to eat out. So much so that I had to get some sort of control over the situation. So, I promised them we would go out to eat once a month, as long as certain requirements were met, such as keeping up with homework, helping out around the house, and a certain level of table manners had to be maintained.*

We sat down and wrote down every restaurant they wanted to visit, which turned into a list of twenty-seven places. We managed to whittle it down to 12. I wrote their names on slips of paper, and then wrote the months of the year on 12 more papers. One kid picked the restaurants, the other picked the months. Next month, we're eating mediterranean.

I was pretty impressed with the dining choices we came up with. Four of the restaurants serve what could be termed 'American' fare, with only two national chains (this and this), four are oriental food (including a Japanese steak house, a noodle restaurant, and a sushi bar), two Mexican or Tex-Mex, one Mediterranean, and one Indian. And half of them are within walking distance.

We did a lot of walking this weekend, too. We went up to the reservoir and walked around it. I like to take the kids up there every week in autumn. It's the second-highest point in the city, and there's one spot where we can look over all the trees of the city right into downtown. We notice the colors of the leaves on the trees. Right now, they're what my son calls 'old' green; they're about to turn, but it's still summer. We also walked through an area called Washington Grove. It's just a bit of wild northeastern forest, completely undeveloped, with whatever footpaths fellow travelers put there. It's so neat having this little spot of wilderness in the middle of the city. I knew that if we walked more than a quarter-mile in any one direction we'd hit civilization; but it was fun to pretend.

Washington Grove opens up into this beatiful meadow, where we played frisbee, climbed trees, and laid on our backs and watched clouds. This was how we spent most of the weekend. The only intrusion of civilization in the meadow was two small piles of gravel and dirt that had been dumped in one corner of the grove. From the amount of weeds that had gown up on them, they had been there for at least two years.

It was amazing watching how much fun and adventure two young minds could wring out of those piles of dirt. They were mountain goats, exploring the high country. They were Robin Hood and Little John, dueling with staves. They were rock stars, performing in an outdoor amphitheater.

And I was their audience. The best shows ever.

Tonight, after dinner and showers, we sat down and watched All of Me, and ate ice cream, before it was bedtime.

Not a bad moment this weekend. Hope yours went well too.


*actually, it's going to increase from month to month. I'm hoping by this time next year to have children who will be able to tell there sherbert spoons from their oyster forks.


Blogger Madame X said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I miss the grits at Cracker Barrel. Glad you had a good weekend. You have lucky kids.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...


12:06 PM  
Blogger Dear Lovey Heart said...

both my brother and my dad share an extremely odd vendetta against Cracker Barrel as far as i can tell they have no reason for this but ye be warned

4:31 PM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

I love times like that

i am so happy for you and your children

i remember some of the times i had with my parents and wish there were a few more (there may have been, but it was the magical ones like you described that always stuck out)

good for you in turning down the work in favour of your kids

4:41 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I have never even heard of Red Robin, but I have had the Cracker Barrel dining experience. They can be found along the I-75 which sadly is the majority of my first hand American culture knowledge.

Cracker Barrel was okay. The food was edible and they had lots of John Deere stuff in the gift shop.

7:28 PM  
Blogger terry, queen dork said...

now i'm hungry...

sounds like a glorious weekend!

and one of these days, i hope to get to a cracker barrel. we don't have those here...

10:04 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Wow. Cracker Barrel seems to evoke a fairly strong reaction from the viewing public.

I didn't pick it in my top 12, but it survived the vetting process, so it won a slot.

Red Robin, on the other hand...

If any of you ever decide to visit one, may I suggest not eating for a day or two before you go. Big servings. Pretty damn tasty too.


10:19 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Mine was great! We brough the baby home, started settling in, and even got a little sleep. I think that all ends soon. Newborns sleep a lot, but he's getting older every day.

10:17 AM  
Blogger AlwaysArousedGirl said...

Gah, I *hate* Cracker Barrel.

I've gotta try that soda. But I'm such a yutz I'd likely choke myself to death with the little marble.


10:21 AM  
Blogger GC (God's Child) said...

here's my test for a Japanese restaurant--do they serve Korean food? If so, I don't go back.

4:10 PM  

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